The suburbs of middle Australia are seething with outrage after a cult kitchenware company neglected to inform its customers of the arrival of its latest model appliance.
Thermomix, a multifunction kitchen appliance, has faced a consumer backlash after its decision to release its new model, the TM5, without any prior warning triggered outrage among customers who had recently purchased the previous model.
Released on Saturday, the TM5 model costs $1989, only $50 more expensive than the TM3 model. Irate customers have flooded the Thermomix Facebook page, incensed that they were not advised about the impending arrival of the new model and demanding their money back.
Some complaints also noted that the price of the superseded model has since been reduced.
Red Buckley-Roche wrote a complaint on the Thermomix in Australia Facebook page:
I cannot even express how disappointed I am to find out about the new model 3 weeks after I get my machine,” writes Buckley-Roche.
“A tiny small 3 weeks... I would have been happy to wait, and either but the new model or buy the same model at a discounted price. I feel ripped off.. First time since I heard about Thermomix that I have nothing nice to say.”
Facebook user Anton Morris is also unhappy.
"Only had ours for a month and a new model is released. No notification or option at the time of ordering that a new model was just about to be released..and at a lower price," Morris wrote.
Users in an Essential Kids forum thread were also unhappy about the late notice of the Thermomix release.
I'm kind of cranky. I specifically asked this question of Head Office two months ago before I purchased and was told nothing was in the works,” writes Cappie.
“I would have held off and waited for the new one. Especially for $50. Now all of the cookbooks / recipes etc will be geared towards the new one.”
User SummerStar says this experience has spoiled the Thermomix experience.
“It's put a pretty bad light on the whole experience for me and wouldn't buy another one,” writes SummerStar.
“I'll either be selling this and going back to my old thermochef or keeping this and when it dies upgrading to the thermochef that's current at the time.”
Many users were happy with the look and feel of the older model, and simply wish the company had dropped the price on the TM3.
“The recipe chip looks a tad gimmicky to me and I prefer buttons over an LCD screen,” says Ainira.
“Having a larger bowl would have been nice but I'm happy enough with ours.”
Other people on the forum see the new release as a chance to get the old model at a bargain price on Ebay or Gumtree.
According to its website, Thermomix is "the most advanced kitchen appliance on the market" and does everything from steaming and chopping to emulsifying.
The collective outrage has coalesced around a change.org petition, which has gathered nearly 2000 signatures from customers demanding an explanation.
More than 2000 people have also joined a Thermomix Unhappy Customers Facebook page which bemoans the company’s decision to release "a new u-beaut, whizz bang, quieter, larger capacity, touch screen model" without adequate notice.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, Thermomix apologised to customers, telling them "[we] hope we can continue our Thermomix journey together".
"The Australian launch of the Thermomix Model 5 was conducted in line with global brand compliance in accordance with our distribution arrangements," the statement said.